Discussing ecological, economic, and social injustice, I noted “how can we do this to ourselves?” Through a dear friend’s response I was reminded that most in the movement don’t accept that the injustice is something we do to ourselves and instead feel the injustice is something a select, privileged few do to a disenfranchised many. We both thought and spoke for a little, agreeing that it is a little bit of both. To defend my point I shared that if I look at it as my privileged self and select few versus the vast many who suffer from my benefits (like having this computer and website to share information through), then there is a clear disconnection that challenges any sort of care and consideration. To truly care and strive for improvement with regard to my fellow human, however unseen and suffering-for-my-benefit they may be, takes empathy and connection – it takes seeing one another as fellow human beings.
We are human beings as part of a human species, a human race so-to-speak. There is a powerful analogy here, looking through the lens of microcosm and macrocosm, decrypted by the Hermetic axiom “that which is above is the same as that which is below…” As we see humanity in fragments, some exploiting others and this and that, we see too how our collective treats oneself individually. Those criminal are akin to the criminal aspects of our own self; those saintly are akin to our lighter parts; those materially wealthy via dominance over others of the same species are analogous to those parts of an individual human which raises itself above the remaining parts and claims wealth in such dominance. To be generous to your fellow man is like giving your strengths time and attention to your weaknesses – precious resources which may uplift them toward perfection (or may fuel their fall further, as is the case ‘in casting pearls before swine’ or giving soon-to-be-drug-money to a drug addict).
In this analogous thinking I see again that both sides of the dialogue described above are true: we must look at all parts of our species (and ourselves) as connected and coherent parts of the whole; we also must see that individual parts of the whole (and our species) have particular relationships with one another, some unhealthy and exploitative and others nurturing and synergetic.
It is called the human race, but what are we racing for anyway? Where are we going, and what’s the matter with our pace?